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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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DA, Nestle celebrate National Farmers and Fisherfolk Month honoring coffee farmers

by Gerry Lee Gorit

DALWANGAN, Malaybalay City – The Department of Agriculture and Nestlé Philippines celebrated the National Farmers and Fisherfolk Month by recognizing the active participation of coffee farmers, on yesterday in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City in Bukidnon.

Awards and recognitions were presented to 25 coffee farmer groups from coffee-producing areas of Northern Mindanao and Davao region.  

In a press conference Jose Uy III, head of corporate affairs of Nestle Philippines said the focus is to address the coffee production in the country, especially in areas identified as coffee producers like Bukidnon, Sultan Kudarat, and Davao regions.

“Kulang na kulang po ang local production para matugunan ang ating pangangailangan,” the Nestle executive explained, referring to coffee productions.

PROGRAMS
The Nestle Philippines, with the support of stakeholders conducted many programs to help and ignite the interest of coffee farmers.

Uy said educational assistance was provided by the company to the students of coffee farmers in the country.

“Ang ginawa namin recently, just last year, we provided educational assistance to the children of the farmers, hoping to help bring back the interest of the farmers,” Uy added.

Uy promised to increase their financial support to the farmers’ children due to very promising feedback, and to really ignite and encourage more productions especially in coffee farming.    

Undersecretary Cheryl Caballero of the Department of Agriculture also said they support farmers who are producing different varieties such as Robusta, Arabica, Excelsa, among others.

She said at this time there is very low productivity of the coffee farmers as far as coffee farming is concerned, the reason that Nestle Philippines collaborated with the government and other private stakeholders, purposely to initiate programs helping the farmers increase their yields.

For his part, Jose Apollo Pacamalan, DA-10 regional director thanked Nestle Philippines for coming up with worthwhile programs helping the farmers in educational knowledge they need, as well as providing them financial support to gain more interest especially in coffee farming.

“Our coffee farmers deserve such recognition considering how the coffee industry plays a significant role in the Philippine economy. Coffee farming employs thousands of Filipinos and contributes to the development of rural communities,” Director Pacamalan pointed out.

NESTLE’S COMMITMENT

Philippine demand for coffee has grown steadily over the years, with many Filipinos incorporating the beverage into their daily routines. This widespread consumption creates opportunities for coffee farmers to increase production to meet the rising demand. Consumption is increasing by over eight percent annually, a trend expected to continue.

However, the sector faces significant challenges, including climate change, shrinking arable land, and low returns.

To meet growing demand, the Philippines relies not only on local production but also on substantial imports of raw coffee and finished coffee products.

“There is a clear need to support farmers in increasing local coffee production and for consumers to back them by purchasing locally manufactured coffee products,” said Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki.

Supporting Coffee Farmers through the NESCAFÉ Plan

As the largest local coffee buyer in the Philippines, Nestlé Philippines is committed to improving the lives of Filipino coffee growers through various initiatives. Since 1962, when the company began manufacturing NESCAFÉ locally, it has provided training to farmers, focusing on sustainable farming practices.

In 2010, Nestlé launched the NESCAFÉ Plan globally, the world’s largest coffee sustainability program. In the Philippines, this program aims to boost Robusta coffee production. Nestlé Philippines offers ongoing technical assistance to farmers, helping them increase their yields and incomes. In 2018 and 2019, the company trained an average of 6,000 Filipino farmers annually. ###

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